2019 Critical Review: Colossal Retaliators!! (Or, The Tenth Night of Clix-Mas!!)

[EDITOR’S NOTEWelcome to Night Five of the 12 Nights of Clix-Mas 2019!! First, we reviewed the ground rules; for Night 2, we hit the ground running with an in-depth review of Call-In Cards from friend of the blog, Roberto Ty! Night Three brought us HypeFox’s look at the 10 best Chases of the year. And then we had a rare holiday appearance from writer/co-founder of the blog Ninwashui. It’s a Clix-Mas Miracle!! Then, we talked about the Five Things Wizkids Did Right This Year! Next, The Ghost of Clix-Mas Future took us through a preview of just about every Heroclix release that’s been announced for 2020 so far! We revisited our Simply The Best series for Night 7! Two nights ago we listed three licensed properties we’d love to see Clix’d! And yesterday we tracked the history of MCU movie setsand the one piece from Marvel’s movies that hasn’t been made yet… ]

Welcome to Night Ten of the Twelve Nights of Clix-Mas, 2019!

Once again… it’s Roberto Ty!

Having 2020 Vision

Time for another year end critical review. Like the previous article on call-in figures, we’re looking at retaliators that survives rotation. Previously, I suggested that the time to sell your was now and while that still holds true, the retaliators have fewer options going forward. You may have to keep them until just before Nationals.

The Colossal Retaliator Sequence

For newer players, a typical sequence for colossal retaliation looks like this:

  1. Colossal Retaliators are played on their final retaliation click (the last click before KO). They are low-cost figures that add utility to teams.
  2. An opponent damages a teammate or attacks a retaliator (assuming he doesn’t kill the retaliator) and this triggers a Colossal Retaliation.
  3. On your turn, you can retaliate against the attacker through the Colossal Retaliation ability, provided that character is still on the map. The retaliation ability varies from figure to figure and may have additional benefits and conditions.

It’s Hard to Say Goodbye…Like Really, Really, Really Hard

The list of retiring retaliators are:

  1. 10-point AIG001-10 Giant-Girl
  2. 25-point AIG009P Jakar
  3. 15-point AIG017P Giganto & Namor
  4. 20-point AIG025P Groot
  5. 10-point FFAIG001P Giant-Girl
  6. 25-point TMTG001P Surtur
  7. 20-point TMTG003P Groot
  8. 10-point TMTG004P Carnage
  9. 15-point TMTG005P Ms. Marvel
  10. 30-point TMTG006P Mangog
  11. 20-point TMTG007P Frost Giant
  12. 10-point TMTG008P Flora Colossus
  13. 35-point WKM17-G001P Dormammu
  14. 15-point WKMP17-001P Giant-Man
  15. 30-point WKD17-G001P Titano
  16. 25-point WKDP17-001P Sinestro
  17. 20-point WKDP18-001P Starro
  18. 15-point EWG001P The Skyscraper Wonder Woman

We go from 26 colossal retaliators to 8. While it’s better to sell before rotation, can you make a deep run at Nationals without these retaliators?

The OG

With limited options going forward, we need to evaluate which retaliators to keep. 

Value Factors

 

  • Keywords. Due to their low cost, multiple retaliators are used to increase the roll for map initiative on theme teams.

 

  • Bystanders. Retaliators that generate bystanders are valuable. Bystanders can be used to tie up an opponent or as fodder to trigger a retaliation.

 

  • Abilities. Beyond retaliation, does the character bring additional qualities like Leadership, Outwit, Perplex, Poison, Probability Control, or Telekinesis to a team?
  • Defense. Can the retaliator survive? Most retaliators have hittable defenses. The better retaliators have ways to evade or reduce damage.

 

 

 

Tier I (MVP)

 

Groot Colossal.jpg

20-POINT AIG025P GROOT

Hands down, Groot is the MVP of retaliators. His value isn’t solely from his retaliation, but from his other abilities. He has a 3 movement, COLOSSAL RETALIATION special power with 10 attack, COLOSSAL INDIFFERENCE with 17 defense, and Leadership with 3 damage. On paper, his combat values seem average. So let’s look at his abilities:

(☆ TRAIT) ORIGIN: BEFORE THE GUARDIANS: If Groot is part of a Guardians of the Galaxy themed team, he has PROTECTED: Outwit this game. Otherwise, he modifies his attack and defense +1 this game.

(☆ TRAIT) PUNY MORTALS, WE WILL CRUSH YOU LIKE AN INSECT: At the beginning of the game, you may generate a Dr. Leslie Evans bystander in an opponent’s starting area that’s friendly to their force. If you do, generate two Walking Wood bystanders. // Whenever Groot hits one or more characters with an attack, after resolutions generate a Walking Wood bystander (maximum 5 on the map).

(SPECIAL ATTACK) COLOSSAL RETALIATION: FREE: If no other Colossal Retaliation power has been activated this turn, choose an opposing character that attacked Groot or damaged a friendly character since your last turn. Place Groot such that he can make a close attack targeting the chosen character, then do so.

(SPECIAL DEFENSE) COLOSSAL INDIFFERENCE: STOP. Toughness. If Groot began the game on the 20-point starting line, he can’t attack smaller characters except via Colossal Retaliation.

His value can be summed up as follows:

  1. 11 attack (10 printed +1 from his trait) and 18 defense (17 printed +1 from his trait).
  2. Leadership.
  3. Generates a Dr. Leslie Evans bystander for the opponent’s team and you get two Walking Woods.

When we survey the Cosmic-keyword characters that have Leadership, there are very few. It makes Groot that much more valuable to Cosmic theme teams. While giving your opponent a Dr. Leslie Evans can work against you, the trade off to get two Walking Woods is worth the exchange. Let’s look at these bystanders.

AIG025BTA Dr. Leslie Evans. The good doctor has Stealth with 5 movement, 8 attack, I’M NOT AFRAID OF YOU, GROOT! special power with 15 defense, and Outwit with 1 damage. His special reads:

I’M NOT AFRAID OF YOU, GROOT!: When attacked by a Groot or Walking Wood, Dr. Leslie Evans modifies his defense +3.

AIG025BTB Walking Wood. The Walking Wood has ALL TIMBER IS UNDER MY CONTROL special power with 4 movement, 10 attack, Toughness with 16 defense, and Shape Change with 3 damage. Its special reads:

ALL TIMBER IS UNDER MY CONTROL: Flurry, Plasticity, Sidestep.

You can see why the trade off is worth it. Walking Woods are formidable attackers and can tie up your opponents. If your opponent attacks and kills them, it would trigger a retaliation.

 

Tier II (The Real Retaliators)

 

Mangog.jpg

1. 30-point TMTG006P Mangog

Surtur.jpg

2. 30-POINT TMTG006P MANGOG

I rank Mangog slightly higher than Surtur because of his damage potential, higher defense, and the Cosmic keyword. He has the Power Cosmic team ability, Sidestep with 5 movement, Super Strength with 10 attack, IMPERVIOUS COLOSSAL INDIFFERENCE special power with 19 defense, COLOSSAL RETALIATION: MULTI-POWERED TAIL special power with 4 damage. His trait and special powers read:

(☆ TRAIT) PULL THE ODINSWORD: POWER: Once per game, if Mangog completely occupies an opponent’s starting area and hasn’t been moved or placed by another friendly character this game, turn his dial to the next starting line higher than his current starting line, and that becomes his new starting line and point value.

(SPECIAL DEFENSE) IMPERVIOUS COLOSSAL INDIFFERENCE: STOP. Impervious. If Mangog began the game on the 30-point starting line, he can’t attack smaller characters except via Colossal Retaliation.

(SPECIAL DAMAGE) COLOSSAL RETALIATION: MULTI-POWERED TAIL: FREE: If no other Colossal Retaliation power has been activated this turn, choose an opposing character that attacked Mangog or damaged a friendly character since your last turn. Place Mangog such that he can make a close attack targeting the chosen character and all other opposing characters within 3 squares and line of fire, then do so. Hit characters are each dealt 4 damage instead of normal damage. After resolutions, make a close attack targeting each opposing character within 2 squares and line of fire. Hit characters are each dealt 3 damage instead of normal damage.

Mangog’s playability is really high. I considered placing him in Tier I, but ultimately decided to keep the attackers together in Tier II. To breakdown his value:

  1. With only a 10 printed attack, you’ll want to have Perplex handy before retaliating. Perplex his attack to an 11. Twelve would be better. You don’t want to miss so make sure you have Probability Control too.
  2. When he hits, he deals 4 damage to the attacker and all other opposing characters within 3 squares and line of fire. After resolutions, he can make a close attack targeting each opposing character within 2 squares and line of fire. When he hits, he deals another 3 damage. 
    1. Be careful positioning Mangog for his retaliation. While he can use colossal reach 3 squares, you may want to actually be in closer because the second attack targets characters within 2 squares. Position him strategically for maximum carnage!
  3. Power Cosmic team ability gives him Willpower and PROTECTED: Outwit.
  4. A 19 defense with Impervious! Most retaliators don’t have values so good. This gives him survivability to pull off his trait.
  5. Finally, don’t sleep on his trait. If he hasn’t been moved or placed by another friendly character this game, he can take a POWER action to PULL THE ODINSWORD when he fully occupies an opponent’s starting area. When he pulls the sword, he can be healed to his next starting line at 150 points. That’s value!

25-POINT TMTG001P SURTUR

Surtur has the following keywords: Asgardian, Deity, Monster, and Ruler. Because the monster keyword is strong right now, Surtur makes the list of retaliators to keep until rotation. He has the Power Cosmic team ability and has 8 range with a single target, COLOSSAL RETALIATION: WATCH THE WORLD BURN special power with 6 movement, 12 attack, COLOSSAL INDIFFERENCE special power with 18 defense, and TWILIGHT, SWORD OF DOOM special power with 3 damage. His trait and special powers read:

(☆ TRAIT) VULNERABLE TO COLD: Characters that can use Incapacitate modify their damage by +1 when attacking Surtur.

(SPECIAL MOVEMENT) COLOSSAL RETALIATION: WATCH THE WORLD BURN: FREE: If no other Colossal Retaliation power has been activated this turn, choose an opposing character that attacked Surtur or damaged a friendly character since your last turn. Place Surtur such that he can make a close combat attack targeting the chosen character, then do so. After resolutions, deal 1 penetrating damage to each opposing character within 2 squares.

(SPECIAL DEFENSE) COLOSSAL INDIFFERENCE: STOP. Toughness. If Surtur began the game on the 25-point starting line, he can’t attack smaller characters except via Colossal Retaliation.

(SPECIAL DAMAGE) TWILIGHT, SWORD OF DOOM: Opposing characters can’t use defense powers if they are the only target of Surtur’s attack.

Most likely, you’ll find Surtur on Monster teams. If you provide him some protection, he’s a fierce retaliator:

  1. He has the Power Cosmic team ability, which will give him PROTECTED: Outwit and Willpower.
  2. He has a 12 attack.
  3. Before retaliating, I would Perplex up damage. His first attack against the attacker deals his normal damage. His TWILIGHT, SWORD OF DOOM power will get around pesky defense powers.
  4. After hitting, he deals 1 penetrating damage to each opposing character within 2 squares. 
  5. Like Mangog, you’ll want to pay attention to placement. Always retaliate from 2 squares away. 

 

Tier III (Honorable Mentions)

The last tier, I won’t spend too review in-depth because I feel these are judgement calls and will depend more on your play preference. Notice that they all have the same point value.

Carnage.jpg

1. 10-point TMTG004P Carnage

Flora Colossus 2.jpg

2. 10-point TMTG008P Flora Colossus

GG1.jpg GG

3. 10-point AIG001-10 Giant-Girl and 10-point FFAIG001P Giant-Girl

 

10-POINT TMTG004P CARNAGE

With the Monster-keyword, Carnage will see play. When he retaliates, after attacking he can generate a Symbiote bystander adjacent to the target. He doesn’t need to hit to produce the Symbiote.

TMTG004BT Symbiote. Plasticity with 6 movement. Blades/Claws/Fangs with an 11 attack, Super Senses with 16 defense, and Shape Change with 2 damage.

 

10-POINT TMTG008P FLORA COLOSSUS

Flora is a low-cost addition to cosmic theme teams and is used to increase your map roll. She can heal past her starting line. At the end of your turn, roll a d6. On a result of 5–6: Heal 1 click. If she occupyies water terrain, Heal 2 clicks.

 

10-POINT AIG001-10 GIANT-GIRL AND 10-POINT FFAIG001P GIANT-GIRL

Giant-Girl is low-cost retaliator that helps Avengers theme teams win map roll. She’ll be relevant in 2020 when we get more Avengers. The AIG001-10 Giant-Girl does not have Colossal Indifference and can attack smaller characters. When she KO’s an opposing character, roll a d6 and heal half the result. She can heal past her starting line. The FFAIG001P Giant-Girl has Colossal Indifference. Her value comes from her ability to use Colossal Retaliation even if another character used retaliated that turn. You’ll want to use her retaliation last.

 

New Year, New Wave

Heading into the new year, here’s the new wave of retaliators, post-rotation:

  1. 30-point WKMP18-G001P Tri-Sentinel
  2. 20-point XDPSG004P Proteus
  3. 25-point XDPSG010P Phoenix
  4. 25-point XDPSG015P Magneto
  5. 25-point XDPSG017BP Colossus
  6. 30-point XDPSG020P Dark Phoenix
  7. 25-point XDPSG023BP Storm
  8. 15-point XDPSG025P Iceman

It’s a short list. Let’s take a look at these eight.

 

Tier I

  1. 30-point XDPSG020P Dark Phoenix
  2. 30-point WKMP18-G001P Tri-Sentinel
  3. 25-point XDPSG017BP Colossus
  4. 25-point XDPSG023BP Storm

 

DP

30-point XDPSG020P Dark Phoenix

I debated on who should be crowned number one in Tier I. Ultimately I gave the crown to the Hellfire Queen who later was infected by the Phoenix Force and became Dark Phoenix. Does she deserve top bill? Let’s find out.

Dark Phoenix has the Cosmic, Hellfire Club, Phoenix Force, and X-Men keywords. She has the Power Cosmic team ability and has 10 range with 3 targets, flight, Sidestep with 9 movement, COLOSSAL RETALIATION: CHILD OF LIGHT AND DARKNESS special power with 11 attack, SPECKS OF DUST TO ME special power with 17 defense, and 3 damage. Her abilities are:

(☆ TRAIT) FEEDING ON LIFE FORCES: When Dark Phoenix KO’s an opposing character, or an opposing character takes 4 or more damage from her attack, after resolutions heal her 1 click. She may heal past her starting lines this way but can’t be healed in any other way.

(SPECIAL ATTACK) COLOSSAL RETALIATION: CHILD OF LIGHT AND DARKNESS: FREE: If no friendly character has been placed this turn, choose an opposing character that attacked Dark Phoenix or damaged a friendly character since your last turn. Place Dark Phoenix such that she can make a close attack targeting the chosen character then do so also targeting all other characters (friendly or opposing) within 3 squares. Hit characters are given an action token and each dealt 2 penetrating damage instead of normal damage.

(SPECIAL DEFENSE) SPECKS OF DUST TO ME: STOP. Impervious.

Why she’ll see play:

  1. All her keywords are great to build around, specifically Cosmic and X-Men.
  2. Power Cosmic team ability provides her Willpower and PROTECTED: Outwit.
  3. Incredible 10 range with 3 targets.
  4. 11 attack value.
  5. While her defense value is only 17, she has Impervious to help reduce damage to 0.
  6. Her retaliation will target the attacker and all other characters (friendly or opposing) within 3 squares. So be careful placing her for retaliation! When she hits, she deals 2 penetrating damage instead of her normal damage.
  7. She doesn’t have Colossal Indifference and can attack smaller characters.
  8. Now for why she’s number one. When she KO’s an opposing character or when an opposing character takes 4 or more damage from her attack, she can heal 1 click and can heal past her starting line. Let me break this down:
    1. Perplex her damage to 4 (she has 3 printed) before she retaliates. In many games, I also Perplex her defense.
    2. Early in a match, the penetrating damage from her retaliation isn’t enough to heal unless you are targeting bystanders or other low-cost figures.
    3. Finally it’s been ruled that Dark Phoenix heals 1 click when she deals 4 damage and another click for a KO’d character. So by Perplexing her damage to 4 before the retaliation, you can place her, attack, and deal penetrating damage. Then hit with a normal attack for 4 damage to heal 1 click. If you manage to KO a character then you can heal her 1 more click.
    4. One other thing to consider is if you heal her 1 click, she loses her Colossal Retaliation power and Impervious (she gains Invulnerability). Her defense does go up to an 18, but if you paid attention to my advice, she’ll actually be a 19 defense if you Perplexed her up beforehand.

 

Tri.jpg

30-POINT WKMP18-G001P TRI-SENTINEL

As a 30-point investment, Tri-Sentinel brings a lot to a team. He has 9 range with 3 targets, flight, THE PRIME DIRECTIVE special power with 8 movement, COLOSSAL RETALIATION: WHEN NOTHING LESS THAN GENOCIDE WILL DO special power with a 10 attack, and COLOSSAL INDIFFERENCE special power with 18 defense, and 3 damage. His abilities are:

(+) IMPROVED MOVEMENT: This character can move through Blocking terrain. Immediately after movement resolves, destroy all Blocking terrain moved through.

(☆ TRAIT) MYSTICAL WARDINGS: Energy Shield/Deflection. Tri-Sentinel has PROTECTED: Mind Control. When Tri-Sentinel is dealt penetrating damage by an opposing character, after resolutions heal it 1 click.

(SPECIAL MOVEMENT) THE PRIME DIRECTIVE: Plasticity, Sidestep. When Tri-Sentinel destroys one or more pieces of blocking terrain, after resolutions deal 1 penetrating damage to each opposing character that was adjacent to one or more destroyed pieces.

(SPECIAL ATTACK) COLOSSAL RETALIATION: WHEN NOTHING LESS THAN GENOCIDE WILL DO: FREE: If no other Colossal Retaliation power has been activated this turn, choose an opposing character that attacked Tri-Sentinel or damaged a friendly character since your last turn. Place Tri-Sentinel such that it can target the chosen character using Pulse Wave at no cost, then do so. After resolutions, destroy all blocking terrain within 3 squares.

(SPECIAL DEFENSE) COLOSSAL INDIFFERENCE: STOP. Toughness. If Tri-Sentinel began the game on the 30-point starting line, it can’t attack smaller characters except via Colossal Retaliation.

Why he’ll see play:

  1. Excellent keywords: Hellfire Club, Mystical, Robot, and Sentinel. We initially saw him on Mystical teams (alongside Sheriff Strange, Earth X Daredevil, Alex Wilder, and Black Adam), but thanks to the X-Men Animated Series set, we’ll see him on Robot or Sentinel teams.
  2. Used strategically on a map with blocking terrain, he has IMPROVED MOVEMENT: This character can move through Blocking terrain. Immediately after movement resolves, destroy all Blocking terrain moved through.
  3. Incredible reach. He can Sidestep and make a ranged attack of 9 squares—an 11-square reach.
  4. MYSTICAL WARDINGS trait makes him worth his 30-points. Its benefits are:
    1. Energy Shield/Deflection. He goes from an 18 defense to a 20 against ranged attacks.
    2. PROTECTED: Mind Control.
    3. But the most important part of this trait is that when he destroys one or more pieces of blocking terrain, after resolutions he deals 1 penetrating damage to each opposing character that is adjacent to one or more pieces he destroyed.

Let’s break down the final part of MYSTICAL WARDINGS. He deals 1 penetrating damage to opposing characters adjacent to one or more pieces of blocking terrain that he destroyed. He’s essentially doing damage to opposing characters by destroying blocking terrain through:

  1. His Improved Movement.
  2. A Range Destroy action.
  3. His Colossal Retaliation special. The important thing to note is that he retaliates with a Pulse Wave that destroys all blocking squares within 3 squares. So first he deals his damage from Pulse Wave then after resolutions he’s dealing 1 penetrating to each opposing character that is adjacent to one of more of the destroyed pieces. Incredible!

You can see why he’ll be a major retaliator going forward, especially on a map with lots of blocking terrain. Commonly used maps with him are Star Trek’s Underground Map (though this will rotate out next year) and ROC Hedge Maze. The Underground map is indoors and provides him protection because of limited sight lines. The outdoor Hedge Maze map has lots of blocking terrain and is difficult to maneuver for non-flyers while he can target them with his great size.

 

Colossus Prime.jpg

25-POINT XDPSG017BP COLOSSUS

Juggernaut Colossus is a Giant with the X-Men team ability. He has Charge with 7 movement, Quake with 11 attack, Impervious with 18 defense, and COLOSSAL RETALIATION: NOW, YOU FACE WRATH special power with 3 damage. His abilities are:

(+) MOVEMENT: This character can move through Blocking terrain. Immediately after movement resolves, destroy all Blocking terrain moved through. This character can move through squares adjacent to or occupied by opposing characters without stopping, and automatically breaks away, even if adjacent to a character than can use Plasticity.

(☆ TRAIT) FLYING DEBRIS: When Colossus uses Charge, after resolutions deal 1 penetrating damage to each opposing character that’s adjacent to one or more debris markers he created this turn.

COLOSSAL RETALIATION: NOW, YOU FACE WRATH: FREE: If no friendly character has been placed this turn, choose an opposing character that attacked Colossus or damaged a friendly character since your last turn. If that character is within the same row or column as Colossus, place Colossus adjacent to that character and make a close combat attack targeting all characters in the rows or columns between where Colossus began this action and his current square, regardless of adjacency. Hit characters are each dealt 2 penetrating damage instead of normal damage.

Why he’ll see play:

  1. As a call-in retaliator with either the 5-point WKMDOFP-003 Colossus Wanted Poster or 5-point WKMVID-011 Colossus headmaster ID card.
  2. Colossus is a Giant, but can attack smaller characters because he doesn’t have Colossal Indifference.
  3. He can use Charge, destroying blocking along the way, and for every character that is adjacent to a piece of terrain he destroyed, he deals them 1 penetrating damage.
  4. He can Charge (moving 4 squares) and use Giant Reach to target characters within 2 squares, and then Quake on an 11 attack.
  5. His retaliation can target several characters. When he hits, he deals 2 penetrating damage for each character.

 

Storm colossal.jpg

25-POINT XDPSG023BP STORM

Ororo has been possessed by Shadow King and has the Deity, Monster, Ruler, and X-Men keywords. Since she is being controlled by Amahl Farouk, she doesn’t have the X-Men team ability. She has 8 range with two targets, Sidestep with 7 movement, Precision Strike with 11 attack, THIS NEW HOST PLEASE ME, I WOULDN’T WANT TO LOSE IT special power with an 18 defense, and 2 damage. Her abilities are:

(+) TARGETING: Lines of fire drawn by this character are not blocked by characters. This character can make ranged attacks while adjacent to opposing characters. (May target adjacent or nonadjacent opposing characters.)

(☆ TRAIT) SUMMON A VORTEX OF WIND: Energy Shield/Deflection. // FREE: Choose up to 3 opposing characters within 6 squares and line of fire, then roll a d6. Knock back each of the chosen characters a number of squares equal to the result.

(☆ TRAIT) COLOSSAL RETALIATION: MIND WARP: FREE: If no friendly character has been placed this turn, choose an opposing character that attacked Storm or damaged a friendly character since your last turn. Place Storm such that she can make a close attack targeting the chosen character then do so. If she hit, after resolutions she can use Mind Control at no cost as RANGE, modifying attack +3, to target the hit character and up to two others (within range and line of fire).

(SPECIAL DEFENSE) THIS NEW HOST PLEASES ME, I WOULDN’T WANT TO LOSE IT: STOP.

Why she’ll see play:

  1. As a standard-size character with the Colossal Retaliation power, she can attack characters of any size since she doesn’t have Colossal Indifference.
  2. Her attack value is 11 while her damage is only 2. The second part of her retaliation allows her to use Mind Control at no cost. When she does, her attack is modified by +3 and she can target the hit character along with two others that are within her range and line of fire.

Tier II (Call-In Help)

These Tier II retaliators may be included on the main force, but also as call-in figures. For more on call-in figures, read my earlier article 2019 Critical Review: Call-In Figures.

  1. 25-point XDPSG017BP Colossus
  2. 25-point XDPSG010P Phoenix
  3. 25-point XDPSG015P Magneto
  4. 15-point XDPSG025P Iceman

As we look at the Tier II list, I will only review the retaliators that have not been covered previously.

 

25-POINT XDPSG017BP COLOSSUS

See the Tier I Colossus review above.

 

Phoenix Rachel.jpg

25-POINT XDPSG010P PHOENIX

Phoenix’s keywords are Cosmic, Excalibur, Phoenix Force, Starjammers, and X-Men. Easy to include on Cosmic and X-Men teams, she has the Power Cosmic and X-Men team abilities. Her range is an incredible 10 with 3 targets and she has Phasing/Teleport with 10 movement, Telekinesis with 11 attack, COLOSSAL INDIFFERENCE with 16 defense, and COLOSSAL RETALIATION: PSIONIC MAELSTROM with 3 damage. Her abilities are:

(☆ TRAIT) COSMIC ENTITY: Phoenix can’t be the target of an attack with more than one target.

(☆ TRAIT) ETERNAL FLAME OF DESTRUCTION AND REBIRTH: Energy Shield/Deflection, Poison. When Phoenix uses Poison and an opposing character took damage from it, after resolutions choose one: heal 1 click for each opposing character damaged this way -or- heal each adjacent friendly character 1 click.

(SPECIAL DEFENSE) COLOSSAL INDIFFERENCE: STOP. If Phoenix starts on the 25-point line, she can’t attack smaller characters except via Colossal Retaliation.

(SPECIAL DAMAGE) COLOSSAL RETALIATION: PSIONIC MAELSTROM: FREE: If no friendly character has been placed this turn, choose an opposing character that attacked Phoenix or damaged a friendly character since your last turn. Place Phoenix within 3 squares of the chosen character then make a ranged attack targeting that character and all other opposing characters within 3 squares, regardless of line of fire. Instead of normal damage, deal each hit character 1 penetrating damage for each action token they have. Hit targets that can use Incapacitate, Mind Control, Outwit, or Penetrating/Psychic Blast modify their combat values -1 until your next turn.

Why she’ll see play:

  1. As a call-in retaliator. At 25-points she can be called in with either the 3-point WKMVID-020 Jean Grey student ID or the 5-point WKMDOFP-004 Rachel Summers Wanted Poster.
  2. She has Cosmic and X-Men keywords, two of the most common keywords in modern.
  3. Telekinesis. She can use Telekinesis to place a special object on another figure so that they can equip it on the first turn. Or she can use it to position another teammate.
  4. Poison. As a call-in, she can be placed adjacent to an opponent and use her Poison before retaliating.
  5. Her retaliation targets the attacker and all other opposing characters within 3 squares. When she hits, she does 1 penetrating damage for each action token on the hit target.

For an 8-point investment in two ID cards, I just might have two of her on the sideline.

 

Mags Colossal

25-POINT XDPSG015P MAGNETO

The leader of the mutant resistance will retaliate against his oppressors! While he’s a 2×2 base, Magneto is a standard-size character. He has the Brotherhood of Mutants team ability, an 8 range with a single target, Sidestep with 7 movement, Telekinesis with 10 attack, Toughness with an 18 defense, and COLOSSAL RETALIATION: MASTER OF MAGNETISM special power with 3 damage. His abilities are:

(☆ TRAIT) THE FORCE OF MAGNETISM IS AT MY COMMAND: Leadership. FREE: Choose a character within range and line of fire. Place that character in a square adjacent to its current square.

(SPECIAL DAMAGE) COLOSSAL RETALIATION: MASTER OF MAGNETISM: FREE: If no other friendly character has been placed this turn, choose an opposing character that attacked Magneto or damaged a friendly character since your last turn. Place Magneto such that he can make a ranged attack targeting the chosen character then do so.

Why he’ll see play:

  1. As a call-in retaliator with the 5-point WKMDOFP-006 Magneto Wanted Poster.
  2. Magneto can attack characters of any size. He doesn’t have Colossal Indifference.
  3. Telekinesis. Like Phoenix, he will be used to TK equipment objects to teammates or place friendly characters.
  4. Leadership.
  5. The other significant part of his trait is that he can choose a character within his range and line of fire to move them into an adjacent square from its current square. Note that this works for friendly or opposing characters. You could use TK to place your teammate and then move them an additional square.
  6. His keywords: Acolytes, Brotherhood of Mutants, Hellfire Club, and Ruler. Of these he’ll likely be included Brotherhood or Ruler theme teams.

 

Iceman.jpg

15-POINT XDPSG025P ICEMAN

One of my favorite sculpts in Heroclix, Iceman has taken the ice form of Voltron! He is Colossal size and has 0 range, Charge with 5 movement, 11 attack, COLOSSAL INDIFFERENCE: ICE ROBOT! special power with 17 defense, and COLOSSAL RETALIATION: GLACIER FISTS special power with 3 damage. He has Armor, Champions, Defenders, X-Factor, and X-Men keywords along with the X-Men team ability. His abilities are:

(☆ TRAIT) CHILL, IT’S JUST A GIANT ICE SWORD: Blades/Claws/Fangs. When Iceman KO’s a [Giant symbol] or [Colossal symbol] character, after resolutions he can use Charge at no cost, but may only attack a character with [Giant symbol] or [Colossal symbol]. (He may repeat this.)

(SPECIAL DEFENSE) COLOSSAL INDIFFERENCE: ICE ROBOT!: STOP. If Iceman started the game on the 15-point starting line, he can’t attack smaller characters except via Colossal Retaliation.

(SPECIAL DAMAGE) COLOSSAL RETALIATION: GLACIER FISTS: FREE: If no friendly character has been placed this turn, choose an opposing character that attacked Iceman or damaged a friendly character since your last turn. Place Iceman such that he can make a close attack targeting the chosen character then do so. After resolutions, he can immediately use Incapacitate at no cost, but may target smaller characters.

Why he’ll see play:

  1. As a call-in retaliator with the 3-point WKMVID-019 Iceman student ID.
  2. The first part of his trait gives him Blades/Claws/Fangs.
  3. The second part of his trait is interesting, but will be difficult to pull off. When he KO’s a Giant or Colossal, after resolutions, he can use Charge at no cost but only to attack another Giant or Colossal. He only Charges 3 squares (half his 5 movement rounded up) and can attack using a Colossal reach of 3 squares. Effectively it’s only a 6-square reach (3 from Charging and 3 from Colossal reach).
  4. His retaliation allows him to attack a target (don’t forget the Blades/Claws/Fangs) then after resolutions, he can use Incapacitate at no cost and can target smaller characters. What’s important to note is that he has 0 range. So the use of Incapacitate will be from a close attack.

 

Tier III

 

Proteus.jpg

1. 20-point XDPSG004P Proteus

 

20-point XDPSG004P Proteus

Proteus is a straight-forward retaliator that will find his way onto a Monster theme team. He has the Brute keyword and the Power Cosmic team ability. He starts with Improved Movement: Blocking and a 4 movement value, COLOSSAL RETALIATION: A PARALYZING FEAR special power with a 10 attack, COLOSSAL INDIFFERENCE: I DON’T KNOW BETTER special power with an 18 defense, and Battle Fury with 3 damage. His abilities are:

(☆ TRAIT) WARPING REALITY: Barrier, Shape Change, Smoke Cloud. Once per turn, Proteus can use Barrier as FREE or Smoke Cloud as FREE, but only to generate 2 markers. // Other characters within 3 squares can’t use Improved abilities.

(SPECIAL ATTACK) COLOSSAL RETALIATION: A PARALYZING FEAR: FREE: If no friendly character has been placed this turn, choose an opposing character that attacked Proteus or damaged a friendly character since your last turn. Place Proteus such that he can make a close attack targeting the chosen character then do so. A hit character gets 2 Fear tokens. Even if this power is lost, characters with Fear tokens must roll a d6 when making an attack, and negatively modify their attack value by half the result, then remove one Fear token.

(SPECIAL DEFENSE) COLOSSAL INDIFFERENCE: I DON’T KNOW BETTER: STOP. If Proteus starts on the 20-point starting line, he can’t attack smaller characters except via Colossal Retaliation.

Proteus has average values, but his Battle Fury will help with pesky Shape Change figures. He becomes above average when you factor in his ability to use Barrier or Smoke Cloud as FREE to generate 2 markers. A fun pairing is to use two Proteus with XDPSG007E Juggernaut (who also has the Brute keyword). Juggernaut has Improved Movement: Blocking. After moving, Juggernaut can use Quake at no cost and destroys all adjacent squares of blocking. When Juggernaut destroys 3 or more squares of blocking terrain he gets to remove an action token. When he removes an action token from an effect other than clearing, he gets to heal 1 click. With two Proteus retaliators providing him barrier, Juggernaut is less dependent on a map with lots of blocking terrain and is a more effective tentpole.

 

Colossal Thoughts

A lot of teams employ an alpha strike strategy. If you plan on including retaliators on your main force, you’ll need to protect them from that first strike. That’s why I like the idea of using call-in retaliators. It’s better to concede points from the ID or Wanted Poster than the points of a retaliator. 

Retaliators aren’t just used to attack, many are used for the initiative bonus (map roll) on theme teams. Typically these are low cost figures like the 10-point Flora or Giant-Girl. Post rotation, most of the retaliators will be around 20 points. Iceman is the lowest at 15 points. But at these point levels, it makes it difficult to include these on the main force just to win the map.

Keeping these thoughts in mind, I personally lean toward building teams without main force retaliators and plan on using call-in retaliators instead in 2020.

 

Dial “M” for Mutant Massacre!! (Or, a Top Ten Set Review of Uncanny X-Men!!)

Morlock Massacre

Hello Again!! Been awhile, hasn’t it? I blame Ninwashui. Doesn’t matter though. Because today I’m back with an overdue look at the best pieces from the recent Uncanny X-Men set!

In fact, let’s just jump right in with…

SOME NOTES ABOUT THE SET!!

–This expansion continues the smaller-point, simplified wording and mechanics trend that started with TMNT (and continues unabated with the Civil War OP set). While you’ll find an occasional beater (UXM053B Phoenix is 250 Points… of something), the majority of this set sits between 60 and 110 Points.

–Also like TMNT, you really have to look hard to find any sort of Improved Targeting. Stealth means a lot more in UXM Sealed than it has in previous sets like World’s Finest or NFAoS. Which is fine. But it also puts a lot of these figures at a possible disadvantage in the Meta…

–Speaking of (well, not the Meta necessarily, but venue play), I wonder if shops will start running what would typically be standard Modern Age events as “TMNT-on” events. By which I mean, there was a definite shift in design and a scaling back of power creep when Turtles was released. TMNT, UXM and Civil War (both the Movie Set and the OP) all seem like birds of a feather in terms of power level, so they’re almost begging to be played without the added complication of, say, KC Chases from World’s Finest or Balls of Fury.

Alright then! Without further ado, let’s get into the…

TOP TEN FIGURES IN UNCANNY X-MEN!!

Sugar Man

9. UXM064 Sugar Man — 120 Points — Chase: Sugar Man is a hard piece to evaluate, because so much of what he does is ethereal text outlined in his monstrously-long-winded Trait (WHAT KIND OF SLAUGHTER DO I FEEL LIKE TODAY?: At the beginning of the game, if Sugar Man was not equipped with any other item during force construction, you may choose two of these three objects as described on this card: Axe, Hammer, Sword. Sugar Man may be equipped with both chosen objects. Sugar Man’s Weapons: When on the map, Sugar Man’s Weapons are considered heavy objects. A character in a square with our holding this object may be given a power action to equip it. If not equipped, this object can only be KO’d in an object attack. A character equipped with one of these objects may use the following effects: Axe Effect: Attack rolls of 10-12 count as critical hits. Hammer Effect: When character hits an opposing character, after actions resolve you may give that character an action token if your attack was 10-12 Sword Effect: Can use Blades/Claws/Fangs).

But his other powers start to get a lot more interesting if he has, say, B/C/F and all of his rolls of 10 or more are Crits. His Stop Click (SHRUNK MYSELF INTO YOUR BOOT: STOP. Sugar Man has Tiny Symbol and can’t be healed. When this click is revealed, place any equipped objects onto the map adjacent to Sugar Man. When an adjacent opposing character moves or is placed, after actions resolve you may place Sugar Man adjacent to that character.) and 8-Click long dial also give him lots of longevity for someone under 150 Points.

As Secondary Attackers go, he’s not elite, but he does offer just enough to make him really interesting if you get lucky with some rolls. If you can get him next to a potential victim and roll two 10’s with Flurry and B/C/F and hit two 6’s, you could deal 14 damage from one attack.

On the other hand, unless you’re packing TK, it’ll be tough to get him where you need him (he’s only got Sidestep top dial), and while his 11 Attack Value is a tick above average, it’s hardly a guarantee that either Flurry attack will hit, and he has no built-in way to counteract Impervious, Super Senses or Shape Change. Which means that even after doing all the work to position him for a big strike, there’s a half-decent chance that you may still end up dealing no damage or missing entirely, even IF you make your Attack Roll.

Nightcrawler

9. UXM002 Nightcrawler50 Points — Common: Kurt Wagner gives you five solid clicks for 50 Points, and if you can get him next to a key opposing piece, he can tie them up with his 18 Defense (with Combat Reflexes) and give them fits with his Precision Strike on offense.

But the reason he’s in the Top Ten is because he can do what almost no other figure in the history of the game can do thanks to his Damage Special (*BAMF*: Give Nightcrawler a power action and place him in any square within line of fire. If that square is within 4 squares of the square he began this action in, he may make a close attack.).

Yup. He can zip across an entire map (if it’s the right map) if he wants to. There’s not another piece I’m aware of yet that can do the same thing.

Sunfire Prime

Yup. Even I’m an Avenger.”

8. UXM043B Sunfire — 120 Points — Rare PRIME: Honestly, all THREE versions of Sunfire from this set (are there that many Shiro Yoshida fans out there? Did we really need three versions of him? Especially since NONE of them have the Big Hero 6 keyword?!) are extremely good.

I decided to spotlight the Prime, who is almost impossible to hit from range (20-21 Defense), essentially has Mystics if you hit him with a close attack and sports Running Shot, Pulse Wave, Poison, Energy Explosion AND a natural 4 Damage top dial. That’s a hell of a lot going on with a figure who is still cheap enough to just be a Secondary Attacker.

And the best part? This iteration has the Avengers keyword, so he fits on a metric poop-ton of different teams.

Scarlet Witch

7. UXM055 Scarlet Witch 75 Points — Super Rare: And now we start a run of Super Rare pieces that are 75 Points and awesome!

Ol’ Wanda here has five clicks of support-y goodness including her Damage Special (WINDS OF MAGICK: Scarlet Witch can use Enhancement and Probability Control.) and a Trait (HEX MAGICK: Give Scarlet Witch a power action to attach the Hex Magic marker to a character within range and line of fire, removing it from anywhere else. If that character is friendly, when that character attacks, a Critical Hit is an attack roll of 10-12. If that character is opposing, when that character attacks, a Critical Miss is an attack roll of 2-4. When Scarlet Witch is KO’d, remove the Hex Magic marker.) that can drive grown men to cry.

Quicksilver!

“Nope, Not what we meant by ‘gun control,’ Pietro.”

6. UXM054 Quicksilver75 Points — Super Rare: We can’t spotlight Wanda and not showcase her brother, right?

His Movement Special (FASTER THAN YOU’LL EVER BE: Quicksilver can use Hypersonic Speed. When he does he can automatically break away and he can use Flurry as a free action instead of the close attack.) makes his somewhat fearsome except that his top damage is only three. However, if you can Perplex that up (or equip him with, like, Proteus), pretty soon you’ll have a guy who can cover most of the board–actually, with his Trait (IT’S LIKE I’M EVERYWHERE AT ONCE: When Quicksilver moves through a square, you may immediately place the Speed Shadow marker in it, removing it from anywhere else. Whenever Quicksilver makes a close attack, he may target characters adjacent to the Speed Shadow marker.), he pretty much CAN cover most of the board–and gets to attack twice with a 12 Attack and 4 Damage.

Another case of a Secondary Attacker who can put up Primary Attacker damage.

Malice Polaris

5. UXM059 Malice — 75 Points — Super Rare: This set seems to be chock full of entities who can possess people [EDITOR’S NOTE: There’s, like, two. That’s hardly a “chock.” Whatever that is.].

This is Malice right after she took control of Polaris, as represented by her Attack Special (STILL FIGURING OUT YOUR POWERS: At the beginning of your turn, roll a d6. Until your next turn, on a result of 3-4: Malice can use Force Blast. 5-6: Malice can use Telekinesis.) and Damage Special (WHAT YOU SEE IS NOT WHAT YOU GET: Malice can use Perplex and Shape Change.).

Those two Specials combined with the rest of her dial make Malice a solid Secondary Attacker for a very reasonable point cost, but she has one last trick up her sleeve. Her Trait (I’M DONE WITH YOU, PRETTY: When Malice would be KO’d, you may equip her to another friendly character. EFFECT: Character can use Perplex and Shape Change.) means that even if your opponent takes Malice out early, well, that’ll only make your Primary Attacker that much better.

Pixie

For what basically amounts to a group of ‘gifted’ high school students, you guys sure seem to encounter and then murder a lot of aliens. I mean, like, a LOT.”

4. UXM056 Pixie — 75 Points — Super Rare: Yeah, she’s only got five clicks of life, but those are five pretty darn efficient clicks! She’s probably one of the best hybrid figures of the last few years, in that she fills three roles for your team for the price of one.

First, she starts with a 12 Movement Value top dial along with a Special Power (TELEPORTATION SPELL: Pixie can use Phasing/Teleport. When she does she may carry characters with “wing movement symbol” and may carry 2 characters. She may carry 4 characters instead if they all have the X-Men keyword.) that makes her a damn fine taxi if you’re not playing an X-Men Themed Team and a RIDICULOUSLY GOOD taxi if you are.

She also is a half-decent supporting piece since she offers Perplex on her first 3 Clicks and her Trait (PIXIE DUST: Pixie can use Smoke Cloud as a free action but places only 1 hindering marker. Characters occupying this hindering marker modify their defense values by -1 in addition to attack values.) can either help shield friendly Stealth-ers OR essentially Perplex down two more values on an opposing piece.

Finally, with a starting 3 Damage and a second Click that offers B/C/F AND Precision Strike, she’s got the Damage Output potential (hell, she might one-shot a piece that has top dial Super Senses!) AND the defensive moxie (Super Senses to evade attacks and the Mystics TA to make it hurt if your opponent does connect) to be an effective Secondary Attacker as well!

 

Kitty Pryde Phased

Winner of the “2016 Han Solo in Carbonite” modeling award…

3. UXM023B Kitty Pryde65 PointsUncommon (PRIME): Okay, so a couple years ago, Ninwashui wrote a piece wherein he made the case that Incapacitate was one of the worst powers in Heroclix. At that time, there were two types of figures with Incapacitate. Either it was a high-cost piece that you’d rather try and deal damage with anyway (so Incap was useless), or it was a low-cost piece that either had a bad Attack Value or a really thin dial so that they died before they were useful.

Well, Prime Kitty Pryde here doesn’t have Incapacitate–but she does have a Special Movement Power (PHASING ATTACK:  Kitty Pryde can use Phasing/Teleport and Stealth. When she uses Phasing/Teleport, after actions resolve she may make a close attack targeting all characters whose square she moved through. Hit characters are given an action token instead of normal damage.) that’s even better than Incap. All for just 65 points.

There’s no better way to get me excited about putting action tokens on my opponent’s pieces than giving me a weapon that potentially puts tokens on ALL my opponent’s figures at once instead!

And if you can find a way to give her Willpower…

Mags Proteus

Pink is the new purple, not the other way around!”

2. UXM057P Proteus35 PointsSuper Rare: It seems like a steep price to pay for an off-the-board +1 bump to all stats, all while risking a click of damage to the bumpee every turn, but in a world where all of the War of Light Entities have gone to pasture, Proteus is poised to become the new hotness.

There’s already a lot of theorycrafting on the best figures to break with his special Possession Trait (BURNING OUT HOST BODIES: EFFECT: Modify the combat values of the equipped character by +1. At the beginning of your turn, roll a d6 that can’t be rerolled 1-2: Deal the equipped character 1 unavoidable damage.); Taskmaster from Civil War OP works like gangbusters, and I tested the Sentry LE from the same set with Proteus just the other day and had positive results. Even Rage from Avengers Assemble seems like fun.

And when you get right down to it, his 35 Point off-the-board cost actually isn’t that steep, for a few reasons. First, of course, that stat-bump is huge. But secondly, consider the fact that his other Trait (HE’S USING ORDINARY PEOPLE LIKE PUPPETS!: When building your force, you may pay 35 points to equip Proteus to a character of 100 points or less. When the equipped character is KO’d, equip this to another friendly character of 100 points or less. If you can’t, place him on click #10 into the square of the last character he was equipped and he can’t be healed.) means he’s the first Possessor in the game who can hop from piece to piece as your army is KO’d AND the fact that he can actually pop onto the battlefield as a 11 Attack, 4 Damage Pulse Wave-r with Prob once he runs out of hosts. Yup! He’s the first Possessor who starts off-the-board but has a way to actually come into the game, so those aren’t just 35 dead points if your Possessed character gets KO’d!!

Even if you hate the X-Men or planned on skipping this set, this is a piece you’re gonna want for your collection going forward.

Iceman 1

So thaaaat’s where that sculpt came from…

 

1. UXM051 Iceman110 PointsSuper Rare: A deceptively deep dial that keeps turning up new ways to terrorize your opponent.

First, since he flies and Ignores Characters on movement, there’s not much on the map that’s gonna impede his mobility.

Second, his first Trait (FROZEN SOLID: When Iceman moves, after actions resolve you may make a close attack targeting a single opposing character whose square he moved through and didn’t target with an attack that action. If you hit, attach the Ice Wall marker to that character, removing it from any other character. As long as the Ice Wall marker is attached, that character can’t be moved, placed, given actions, or targeted with an attack. At the end of the next turn, remove the Ice Wall marker.) basically gives him a shot at two legit attacks each turn. No, he does not come with Willpower or Indomitable, but you’re really not losing out on actions since he can do so much in one turn.

Third, even though ICEMAN doesn’t lose out on actions, that doesn’t mean your opponent won’t. Iceman’s Special Damage Power (ICY FATE: When Iceman hits an opposing character, after actions resolve you may give that character an action token.) means that on top of tagging his targets with damage, he’ll also keep them locked down with tokens–and that’s not counting the other piece he’ll be locking down with “Frozen Solid!”

In a set of smaller, efficient dials, Bobby Drake stands taller than the rest.

 

Well, that’s it for today. Lots of Builds to discuss, but I think we might wrap up our Uncanny X-Men coverage (finally–and less than a month before the next set drops!) with a spotlight on the WORST figures in the set. Keep it tuned right here, as that should drop later this week!